During an interaction with Live Mint, Gary Johnson, Ford Motor Company's vice-president for manufacturing operations, revealed more details about the Ford EcoSport from the manufacturing perspective.
Johnson opined that the EcoSport was not lagging behind in launch schedules and the Blue Oval will not come to India before deploying the car in Brazil and China.
He said the launch plan for India has always been 2013, and is similar to the strategy executed at the Figo's launch where the car was revealed in installments.
Johnson did not specify an exact time frame for the Chinese market launch, but the roll out certainly does not seem very far away as the Chinese factory has already started making test prototypes.
Chang’an-Ford may begin mass production later this year and launch the vehicle at the Guangzhou Auto Show in November. Ford India has confirmed an early 2013 launch for the EcoSport that classifies as a small car, eligible for attractive excise benefits.
Ford has invested $4.9 billion (about Rs.27,097 crore today) on manufacturing plants in India and China. Johnson says the EcoSport made in India will be launched in other markets "very quickly." Last week Ford announced the EcoSport's launch in Europe within an 18 month window and perhaps the Chennai factory will export LHD, European-spec vehicles from early 2014.
Ford forecasts a contribution of up to 70% from the Asia-Pacific region and regards India as a major market for the EcoSport both domestically and for export.
[Source - LiveMint.com]